Huge granite masses – seamed, split, shaped and sculptured by time and the elements – form an array of giant whalebacks and castellated kopjes that cover 3000 square kilometres of Matabeleland South Province. Much of the country’s history has been written and played out within the confines of the Matobo Hills – from the time thousands of years ago when ancient bushmen used the granite faces as a canvas for their unique and extraordinary art, to more recent times, when black and white met in war and peace.
These are the Matobo Hills, located south of Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, Bulawayo. Forty thousand years ago the caves and crevices carved out of these rocks became home to Zimbabwe’s earliest inhabitants, the “San”. Twenty thousand years later “San” artists began painting on the walls of caves and rock shelters, using special pigments and natural minerals that have survived the onslaught of climate and time. https://www.zimbabwetourism.net/listing/matobo-hills/#
The story of the Ndebele from when they are forced out from present-day South Africa by a coalition of Afrikaners, Griquas and Zulu to the establishment of modern-day Bulawayo can appear confusing.
During Mzilikazi’s reign as King there are four different capitals (Gibxhegu, Mahlokohloko, Inyathi and Mhlahlandleia) He was succeeded by Lobengula who established a new Gibxhegu and then renames it koBulawayo (this is the where the Site Museum is situated) and finally Umhlabathini, or the second koBulawayo, the site of modern-day State House. This was in keeping with tribal custom; the royal towns of Matabele kings were never intended to be permanent and whenever a King died, the capital moved and the old royal town was burned. http://zimfieldguide.com/bulawayo/kobulawayo-or-old-bulawayo-1870-%E2%80%93-1881-and-indaba-tree
Housed in one of the country’s finest monuments, the National Gallery in Bulawayo is a unique facility, which holds invigorating and challenging exhibitions. Douslin House where the Gallery is housed in more than 100 years today. Its architectural splendor makes evident the gallery’s own goal of aesthetic appreciation and artistic aim.
As custodians of a growing Zimbabwean heritage, Art Gallery is tasked with the creative and intellectual discipline to select, to nurture and commend outstanding works of visual art, to select and display pivotal works, to generate and improve upon existing talent, to train and develop artistic skills, to educate, to empower, to mediate, and mostly to celebrate.
Freed from some of the influences and concerns, which dominate other provinces in Zimbabwe, the unique thrust of the National Gallery in Bulawayo is its desire to dissolve barriers between art and its audience, to establish a consistent dialogue and intimacy. The personality of this gallery is embodied in its transparent windows in the Lower Gallery, which allow passers-by to view current exhibitions while going on about their daily business. http://www.nationalgallerybyo.com/
Khame Ruins are perhaps the least known of Zimbabwe's five World Heritage sites. Situated just 22 kilometres outside of Bulawayo, Khame was the capital of the Torwa state between 1450 and around 1683, after the capital at Great Zimbabwe in Masvingo was abandoned. It was a trading centre, as attested by the artefacts discovered here and the ruins are not places of defence but were prestige buildings designed to demonstrate Torwa wealth.
Human evidence at the site can be traced back to the Early Stone Age, approximately 0.4 to 1.4 million years ago. http://zimfieldguide.com/bulawayo/khame-previously-khami-ruins-unesco-world-heritage-cultural-site
The Natural Museum of Zimbabwe located in the Centenary Park in Bulawayo, was built in 1962, and in 1982 all the natural science collections were moved here and it was renamed the Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe.
With its stunning displays and valuable research, collections are the best museum in Southern Africa and rank fourth in size among the museums of Africa.
It is an impressive circular building with nine public display galleries, a lecture hall with a seating capacity of 120 people, a cafeteria, and eight research departments with substantial study collections and ongoing research in the following disciplines: Arachnology and Invertebrates; Entomology; Ornithology; Mammology; Herpetology; Ichthyology; Geology and Paleontology; Archaeology and Monuments. https://naturalhistorymuseumzimbabwe.com/
The last house in which President Paul Kruger was to live, between 1883 and 1901, before he left South Africa to go into exile in Europe, the Kruger House Museum lies just a few blocks from Church square, where his bronze statue takes centre stage facing the Palace of Justice. https://www.sa-venues.com/attractionsga/kruger-house.htm
Melrose House is a charming historical museum that can be found in Jacob Maré Street in the picturesque town of Pretoria. Conveniently perched across from Burger's Park, it is elegant and a remnant of the colonial South Africa of times past. https://www.sa-venues.com/attractionsga/melrose-house.htm
The reserve was named after ornithologist-mammal gist, J Austin Roberts, born in Pretoria in 1883, and largely self-taught. He was to produce a number of standard South African reference books on both birds and mammals, and was tragically killed in a motor accident in 1948. https://www.sa-venues.com/attractionsga/austin-roberts-bird-sanctuary.htm
The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site is an area of outstanding universal value. Its complex of fossil-bearing caves contains a superbly preserved record of the stages in the evolution of humankind over the past 4-million years. It's the world's richest early hominin site and is home to around 40% of the world's known human-ancestor fossils.
The area is also home to a diversity of birds, animals and plants, some of which are rare or endangered. http://www.thecradleofhumankind.net/
Croc City Crocodile & Reptile Park is fast becoming one of the most exciting attractions in South Africa, where visitors take part in thrilling activities such as holding a baby crocodile, touching exotic snakes and getting up close and personal with a tarantula!
Croc City was founded by Anton and Marietjie Lötter over a decade ago; the couple have been there for more than 16 years. The entrepreneurial duo soon discovered a huge tourist market for their industry and one of the founders and co-owner of the reptilian refuge Marietjie Lötter explained that the origin of the animals in the Park and their facilities are exclusively for the benefit of visitors.
Croc City Crocodile & Reptile Park’s first Nile Crocodile Zip Line – A revolution for Africa – is turning heads as the brave of heart gear up to brave the new Croc City FlyOver! Built by Chimp and Zee, the Croc City FlyOver is an adrenaline-fuelled opportunity to fly or zip over crocodiles as they watch from below! https://www.croccity.co.za/
It is located on 15 hectares of landscaped gardens and waterways within an extensive private nature reserve in the heart of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. NIROX Sculpture Park is 45 minutes from the centers of Johannesburg and Tshwane. http://niroxarts.com/index.php/about/
n the small village of Issiglio, in the Canavese district, lying between the beautiful valley of Chiusella and the main town of that region, Ivrea, Piemonte, on the 6 September 1857 Guglielmo Martinaglia was born. He discover the caves. http://www.theheritageportal.co.za/article-categories/sterkfontein-caves
Walter Sisulu is one of the 8 botanical gardens managed by the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). The gardens consist of around 30 hectares of landscaped garden and 270 hectares of natural vegetation (Rocky Highveld Grassland). Witpoortjie Falls are the centre piece to the gardens. Walter Sisulu features a Waterwise Garden, Cycad Garden, Succulent Rockery, Fern Garden and arboretum. https://www.gardenvisit.com/gardens/walter_sisulu_national_botanic_garden
The Adler Museum of Medicine preserves the history of the health sciences in Southern Africa, with special reference to Gauteng. It supplements the educational activities of the University, especially the Health Sciences, by means of collections, research, teaching, exhibitions and publications.
The Museum contains interesting and invaluable collections depicting the history of medicine, dentistry and pharmacy through the ages. Apart from the hundreds of items of medical historical interest on display, there are also documents, sculptures, pictures, videos and philatelic and medallion collections relating to medical history as well as the history of allied health sciences. The Museum has a library of rare books and a significant history of medicine reference library. In addition, a rich archive arranged by subject matter is housed in the library, and biographical information relating to thousands of medical and allied health professionals is available to students, researchers and interested members of the public. https://www.wits.ac.za/health/adlermuseum/
Constitution Hill represents South Africa’s dark past and its bright post-apartheid future. Johannesburg’s most notorious historic prisons (all of them now museums) sit side by side with the home of the Constitutional Court, a symbol of South Africa’s triumphant democracy. The site is located on the ridge between two city neighbourhoods, Hillbrow and Braamfontein, overlooking central Johannesburg, and is one of the most important tourist attractions in South Africa.
In the old prison blocks visitors can learn more about South Africa’s difficult path towards freedom and democracy from the extensive permanent museum exhibitions that include personal testimonies from former prisoners and warders and installations. There are also a number of guided tours of the complex which give further insight into the the significance of this heritage landmark and a small cafe called The Hill is open for refreshments once you have finished exploring. https://www.gauteng.net/attractions/constitution_hill
AFRONOVA GALLERY, based in Africa’s powerhouse, Johannesburg, is the brainchild of the dynamic duo Emilie Demon and Henri Vergon who are developing and consolidating an innovative model of gallery together with some of the most progressive and influential artists in South Africa and the Southern Hemisphere.
In recent years, AFRONOVA GALLERY showcased artists from the continent in prestigious international platforms like The Armory Show, Art Paris, 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in New York and London. The gallery enjoys collaborations with important institutions like the PAC Milan, Iziko South African National Gallery, The Studio Museum, The Smithsonian Institution, Mass Mocca, as well as foundations like Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, Prada Fondazione in Milan, Fondation des Galeries Lafayette in Paris, JP Morgan Chase in New York, La Maison Rouge in Paris. http://www.afronova.com/
If you want a bird’s-eye view of Johannesburg, the 50-storey Carlton Centre is the place to go. Visitors to the centre can enjoy a panoramic view of the City of Gold from the Top of Africa, as the topmost floor of the building is known: 360 degrees of dense cityscape and outwards towards the countryside and beyond.
The tallest building in Africa and once the tallest building in the southern hemisphere, the Carlton Centre stands 223m high – about 40m shy of featuring on the world’s top 100 skyscrapers list. However, this feat of architecture makes the centre one of the must-see Johannesburg attractions. Construction was a lengthy process, beginning in 1967 and ending in 1974, although the centre officially opened in 1973.
The Carlton Centre complex was once home to the five-star, 30-storey Carlton Hotel, which was prime accommodation in Gauteng and popular with the rich and famous. Former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former President of France François Mitterrand, Hillary Clinton, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and singers Whitney Houston and Mick Jagger count among the hotel’s many famous guests.
The Carlton Centre building was bought by state-owned freight company Transnet in 1999 and the upper floors house offices while in the lower floors there is a popular shopping centre. The entrance to the lift which takes you to the Top of Africa viewing deck can be found in the lower levels of the mall. https://www.gauteng.net/attractions/carlton_centre
As the only banking and money museum in South Africa, it is the custodian, not only of South Africa’s banking history, but also of the economic, political, and social changes that are often so dramatically reflected in these currencies http://www.joburgtourism.com/things-to-do/attractions-&-things-to-do/museums/johannesburg-city/absa-museum-JSATT280
Living and breathing 24 hours a day, Gold Reef City has something for everyone. Our casino complex is constantly alive with excitement and energy. Enjoy thrilling gaming in the casino and stand a chance to win in one of its many exciting promotions. Watch world-class productions at The Lyric, or catch the latest blockbusters in a Victorian train station-themed movies@ cinema complex. Have fun in a action-packed Ten-Pin Bowling alley and enjoy mouth-watering dining at a wide variety of restaurants and fast food outlets. Gold Reef City exhilarating Theme Park includes 18 thrill rides, 13 dedicated rides for the kiddies, Jump City Trampoline Park, the only authentic underground mine tour in Johannesburg and other great attractions.
Gold Reef City gives you an incredible variety of fun things to do in Johannesburg, all in one exciting destination. Come and play, relax and enjoy world-class entertainment. https://www.tsogosun.com/gold-reef-city-casino
The Apartheid Museum is the story of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity and oppression. Beginning in 1948, the white elected National Party government initiated a process that turned more than 20 million people into 2nd class citizens, damning them to a life of servitude, humiliation and abuse. Their liberation in 1994 was the climax of a nation’s resistance, courage and fortitude.
The path through the museum leads you on a journey beginning with segregation, the cornerstone of apartheid. It takes you back through the history of the myriad cultures converging during the pre-apartheid era, through the years of race classification, the 150 acts of apartheid, detentions and the oppression of the nationalist regime. You will examine the rise of black consciousness and the armed struggle, and finally witness the release of Nelson Mandela after 27 years of imprisonment which led to the negotiations for peace. https://www.portfoliocollection.com/visit/apartheid-museum
Situated on 60 hectares of scenic valley bushveld, within easy access of both Durban and Pietermaritzburg, the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary is safe-haven to the widest selection of indigenous raptors in southern Africa. http://africanraptor.co.za/
Named after Jonas Bergtheil, this museum is situated in the leafy suburb of Westville, almost midway between Durban and Pinetown. The museum is housed in Westville’s oldest building (c.1840) featuring massive stone walls and hand-hewn timber floorboards. http://durbanhistorymuseums.org.za/bergtheil-museum/
The Durban African Art Centre Association provides thousands of unemployed artists and craftspeople with opportunities of self-employment and economic upliftment and the ability to earn a sustainable living. http://afriart.org.za/
Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site is the ideal location for anyone interested in the park’s wildlife and birds, to those in search of serenity, identity and the extraordinary history of this World Heritage Site https://www.nmbt.co.za/listing/mapungubwe_national_park.html#lightbox[Mapungubwe National Park]/1/
This Art Gallery is unique in South Africa and possibly the world, as a corporate collection being devoted to the science of aviation. It houses the complete collection of 150 paintings and sketches as published in his book of 1989 "A Portrait of Military Aviation in South Africa". https://www.nmbt.co.za/listing/ron_belling_art_gallery.html
The Island Nature Reserve is located approximately 25 km from Port Elizabeth and is accessed via the Seaview Road turn off along the national road. The Reserve comprises 480 ha of indigenous Alexandria coastal forest and boasts tree species such as Outeniqua yellow-wood, white and hard pear as well as white milkwood. https://www.nmbt.co.za/listing/island_nature_reserve.html
Real emblem of Malagasy flora, the baobab is a majestic and sacred tree that counts eight species. Six of them only grow in Madagascar. The baobab alley contains the most specimens in the world, so you will realize their impressive size and admire some trunks naturally intertwined (baobab in love).
At 19 kms from Morondava, admire the unique forest of baobab trees in the world.
This set of a dozen trees presents a landscape of a rare elegance.
Most of these baobabs are more than 800 years old, a legacy of the dense forests that have flourished on the island a long time ago.
You will admire there the most beautiful specimens in a wonderful scenery. https://madagascar-tourisme.com/en/what-to-do/fauna-and-flora/baobab/
The Franschhoek Wine Tram hop-on hop-off tour is one of the best ways to discover the true essence of the Franschhoek Valley – picturesque vineyards, breath-taking scenery, warm hospitality, world-class cuisine, fine wines and a 300-year history. Passengers aboard the hop-on hop-off tour will experience a unique and leisurely introduction to the Franschhoek Valley as they journey through rolling vineyards in an open-side tram and open-air tram-bus stopping at some of South Africa’s oldest and most distinguished wine estates https://www.capetown.travel/member/franschhoek-wine-tram/
Robben Island is famous, or rather infamous, as the holding place for the imprisoned Nelson Mandela. Mandela served 18 of his 27 years in prison incarcerated on the island’s prison, but Robben Island has also housed a hospital, mental institution, leper colony and military base during its rich history. http://www.capetown.travel/products/robben-island-museum/
The V&A Waterfront, which attracts roughly 24 million visitors each year, is South Africa’s most-visited destination. This is hardly surprising when you think about how much it has to offer!
While it is still technically a working harbour – you’ll no doubt catch a glimpse of fishing boats and container ships – the V&A Waterfront is more frequently thought of as a shopping destination. Covering 123 hectares (think: 180 rugby fields), the V&A Waterfront is divided up into five shopping districts: Victoria Wharf, the Watershed, The Alfred Mall and Pierhead, The Clock Tower, and Breakwater Point. With more than 450 stores, you’ll find everything from local designers to big international brands. For crafts and local talent, make sure you pop into the Watershed, and, if it’s art or jewellery you’re after, head over to The Alfred Mall and Pierhead.
All that shopping is likely to work up an appetite, and the myriad restaurants, coffee shops and fast-food outlets will keep you fuelled. Of course, some of the restaurants and bars are reason enough to visit the V&A Waterfront. http://www.capetown.travel/visitors/see-do/shopping/centres/theres-something-for-everyone-at-the-va-waterfront
Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) is a public not-for-profit contemporary art museum that collects, preserves, researches and exhibits 21st-century art from Africa and its diaspora; hosts international exhibitions; develops supporting educational and enrichment programmes; encourages intercultural understanding, and guarantees access for all.
The galleries, spread over several floors, are dedicated to a large cutting-edge collection gallery; exhibition galleries; and Centres for Art Education, Curatorial Training, Performative Practice, Photography, and the Moving Image. http://zeitzmocaa.museum/
The Company’s Garden is Cape Town’s green lung. This oasis right in the centre of the city is a favourite for both locals and tourists. The site is important historically, and is a thriving urban space where buskers strum guitars while office workers sun themselves over lunch hour. There is plenty to do, but here are our top six things to…
The Company’s Garden was first built as a refreshment station for the trade route that rounded the tip of Africa between Europe and the east. Ships sent by the Dutch East India Company would stop by after months at sea and stock up on fresh produce grown in the garden—hence, “The Company’s Garden”.
There is so much to explore in terms of history inside the garden. Near the Adderley Street entrance a statue of Queen Victoria stands overlooking the Slave Lodge, while a statue of Jan Smuts looks on. Just over the road is the St George’s Cathedral, known as the “people’s church”—even during the apartheid era, all races were welcomed. It was also the starting point for the 30,000-strong demonstration led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 1989—and where Tutu coined the phrase ‘rainbow people’ to describe the diversity of South Africa’s population. http://www.capetown.travel/visitors/six-reasons-to-visit-the-companys-garden
The Labia Theatre is one of Cape Town’s favourite lesser-known attractions. The locals, of course, know it very well. It’s one of Cape Town’s favourite things to do, especially on nights when there’s a dinner special running. http://www.capetown.travel/visitors/see-do/arts-culture/theatre-music/the-labia-theatre-cape-town/
Jump into a pool of refreshing mountain water and escape the city just an hour outside of Cape Town when you hike to Crystal Pools near Gordon’s Bay. By “refreshing”, of course, we mean quite cold—in true Cape Town fashion. But after 45 minutes to an hour of hiking at the Steenbras Nature Reserve, it comes as sweet relief from the heat.
The first pool is about 45 minutes from the start of the trail and you can stop here for a snack or break in the shade. For some serious swimming and kloofing opportunities, it’s best to hold out for the second pool, which is another ten to fifteen minutes up. There is also a waterfall, which you can stand below and enjoy an open-air cold shower. It’s only a 2km hike, but your legs will beg to differ. It starts out fairly easy but the climb gets tough. If you’re up for the challenge you can keep going after the second pool to the third pool that offers more swimming opportunities and an excellent view of the area. http://www.capetown.travel/visitors/see-do/nature-adventure/outdoor-activities/hiking-to-crystal-pools-in-gordons-bay
The best views of Cape Town are from the Table Mountain Cableway, a unique and 87-year- old method of seeing the wonders of the city. Travel up to the summit of the majestic flat-topped mountain and be astounded by vistas of the Mother City, Robben Island and the Peninsula. http://www.capetown.travel/products/table-mountain-aerial-cableway
Regarded as one of the great botanic gardens of the world, Kirstenbosch – or rather, the land on which it sits — was bequeathed to the government by Cecil John Rhodes.
Situated on the slopes of Table Mountain, a mere 13km from the city centre, Kirstenbosch includes a fragrance garden, a medicinal garden, a garden that features 2500 species of plants found on the Cape Peninsula, a Protea garden (best seen in spring!), a braille trail, and a cycad amphitheatre. There is also a glasshouse – the Botanical Society Conservatory – which houses plants from the continent’s more arid regions.
If you have little ones, you simply must take them to see the cycad amphitheatre. Dotted among the cycads are life-sized anatomically correct sculptures of dinosaurs and a pterosaur! Kirstenbosch also features a sculpture garden, where you’ll find an ever-changing exhibition of African stone sculptures, and bronze animal sculptures by Dylan Lewis. Your kids will also enjoy a walk along the Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway – affectionately known as the Boomslang. This 130-metre steel-and-timber bridge snakes its way through and over the trees of the Arboretum, providing stunning views of the Garden and the Cape Flats. http://www.capetown.travel/visitors/see-do/top-attractions/relax-on-the-lawns-of-cape-towns-prettiest-garden
The beautiful Boulders Beach is one of Cape Town’s most visited beaches and the only place in the world where you get close to African Penguins. Cape Town definitely has no shortage of amazing beaches, but Boulders Beach in False Bay offers something extra special – a colony of African Penguins in all their smartly dresses, waddling glory, right under your nose. In fact, it’s the only place in the world where you can get close to African Penguins.
In 1982 a couple of these little crowd-pleasers settled on the soft white sand between the large granite boulders that protect the beach from wind and large, stormy waves, and currently the population is estimated between 2,000 and 3,000 birds. Sadly the African Penguin has been classified as an endangered species, due to things like overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and irresponsible tourism activities, and the Boulders Beach colony has also felt the effect, with numbers dwindling over the last couple of years.
Boulders Beach isn’t just a great place for penguins, it’s also a popular family-friendly swimming beach where kids can climb over the boulders, explore the rock pools, or swim in the cool, clear False Bay water. It’s also a great place for a leisurely picnic. Due to the R65 conservation fee, the beach is rarely packed. http://www.capetown.travel/visitors/see-do/top-attractions/boulders/headline-boulders-beach
Dar Es Salaam Zoo is a zoological park in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The zoo is located in the Kigamboni-district in the eastern part of the city, 37 kilometers from Downtown Dar es Salaam. The Dar es Salaam Zoo is best known for having many animals endemic to Tanzania, including but not limited to giraffes, zebras, crocodiles, antelopes, tortoises, gazelles, monkeys, hyenas, lions, leopards, snakes, and several species of birds. There is also a kids’ zone with slides, swings and jungle-gyms. http://www.tanzanianow.com/dar-es-salaam-zoo/